Empowering healthcare graduates through capstone excellence

At the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at University of the Pacific, the capstone project represents the culmination of our mission to prepare students to be competent, socially conscious practitioners who harness the power of occupation as a therapeutic tool. Our student-centered curriculum emphasizes the significance of occupation from multiple dimensions, including biological, psychological and social, fostering a deep appreciation for its value across the lifespan. The capstone experience encapsulates these principles and serves as an example of our commitment to compassionate, client-centered, science-driven and interdisciplinary care.


One of the most significant differences between a doctoral level program occupational therapy and a master’s level program in occupational therapy is the addition of the 14-week capstone experience. The goal of the capstone also known as a doctoral capstone experience (DCE) is to provide in-depth exposure to an area of focus (ACOTE, 2018). Students complete the experiential field requirement during their last trimester in the program. Students in the University of the Pacific OTD program will participate in a 10-credit course consisting of 560 hours (14-week internship) that must be completed prior to graduation.  Prior Level II Fieldwork experience may not substitute for this capstone experience.

Students will work closely with a faculty mentor and a community mentor in developing an individual plan to integrate new knowledge gained in OTD courses into their project.  Through the capstone project, students demonstrate their understanding of advanced occupational therapy concepts and the ability to lead and practice at the highest level of professional practice. 

The capstone provides the student with an opportunity to demonstrate skills as an innovative leader and scholar-practitioner at the doctoral level. The capstone project an individually mentored project that is the culmination of the capstone experience course. Students disseminate their findings based on the area(s) selected for the capstone experience.

Occupational Therapy Capstone
Innovative Capstone Projects

An Occupational Therapy Capstone student presents a unique opportunity for any organization seeking to integrate diverse perspectives into their workforce. These students, through their rigorous education and practical experiences, bring fresh insights and innovative approaches to problem-solving. Capstone projects are innovative and typically in emergent practice areas.

Program development for community sites can be tailored to suit the specific needs of the company. By collaborating with these students, organizations can tap into their expertise in designing and implementing initiatives aimed at enhancing productivity, efficiency and overall employee well-being.

Contact Information

Capstone Coordinator

Noelle Haight
Assistant Clinical Professor

Clinical Specialist – Clinical Education

Aimal Naeemi
Administrative Assistant